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SBD Global/June 3, 2013/Events and Attractions

Rafael Nadal Rips French Open Scheduling After Weather Delays Give Him 'Unfair' Draw

Rafael Nadal expressed his frustration with the French Open scheduling.
Rafael Nadal "let loose his mounting frustrations" at the French Open's weather, schedule, people organizing the tournament and women's tennis, according to Kevin Mitchell of the London GUARDIAN. Nadal had Thursday's second-round match moved to Friday after his third-round opponent, Fabio Fognini, "had already played and was thus allowed to rest before Saturday's match." Nadal: "I think everybody in this room knows that the schedule of yesterday [Thursday] was wrong. I cannot play third after men's and girls when my possible opponents play second after girls. That's not fair. And today, I was playing almost three hours on court and my opponent was watching the TV in the locker room." Nadal added, "So if you tell me that's fair, I say that's not fair. Only thing that I can do is be positive, smile and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow. But this is not right." Roger Federer "played it down the middle" when asked to comment on Nadal's predicament. Roger Federer said, "I understand that he's frustrated. That's understandable -- that is, he would like to play the second day like any other day. But I think 50% of the players couldn't play their match" (GUARDIAN, 5/31). The BBC's Piers Newbery reported the first week of the French Open has been disrupted by poor weather, and Thursday was "the worst hit." Nadal was scheduled third on Lenglen, but after wins for Grigor Dimitrov and Victoria Azarenka, the Spaniard "did not get any further than the knock-up before the rain returned" (BBC, 5/31).

PULLING RANK: In London, Paul Newman reported Nadal repeated his belief that world rankings "should be based on results over two years rather than one." Nadal: "When you get an injury like [Juan Martin] del Potro for nine months you come back as No. 900 in the world, but you are clearly not No. 900 in the world." Nadal said that he would "not object to a longer season." He would be happy to have a 12-month schedule because it would "create more opportunities for more people to make a living from the sport"-- provided there was a reduction in the number of mandatory tournaments (INDEPENDENT, 6/1).
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